Counties-Manukau essays

Hugh Lambie, Manukau City’s first mayor


Bruce Ringer

Mangere farmer Hugh Drummond Lambie (1904-1980) was Manukau City's first - and today sometimes forgotten - mayor.

As Manukau County Council chairman from 1956 to 1965, Mr Lambie strongly promoted regional cooperation and local body amalgamation. Following the amalgamation of Manukau County and Manurewa Borough in September 1965 he became Manukau City's first mayor unopposed, combining this with chairmanship of the Auckland Regional Authority.

H.D. Lambie, Chairman of Manukau County Council.

H.D. Lambie, Chairman of Manukau County Council, 1956-65, mayor of Manukau City, 1965-8. (Manukau City Council archives, Manukau Research Library, MCCC: I, 1 no. 5)

In 1968 Mr Lambie decided not to stand again as mayor, but to concentrate on regional authority matters. In an upset result, however, he failed to win the Manukau seat. Hugh Lambie was returned to the ARA in 1971, but the days of his greatest influence were over. He died on 27 August 1980.

Hugh Lambie has been called the 'father' of Manukau City. His record was one of generosity, courtesy, integrity and vision. He was awarded an OBE in 1962, but his memorials otherwise are few: Lambie Drive in Manukau City Centre; Hugh Lambie Village at Camp Adair; an apple tree planted in the grounds of Barnardo's Family Care Centre in Mangere.

For more information: see Manukau’s Journey.

Publication record: first published in Connexions, no. 81, September 2005, p. 6. Revised for publication on the Manukau Libraries website in September 2009.

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